We have begun to extract male pelvic viscera from the Visible Human and have found these images to be extremely informative. The true color rendering of the surfaces of the bladder, urethra and prostate is remarkable and unlike the bony pelvis contribute a great deal to an understanding of the anatomy [Figure 11]. Most atlas and textbook illustrations of this region are misleading. The bladder is usually shown on top of the prostate. While we recognize that this is a sample size of only one, these relationships appear very different in the visualization of the bladder and prostate obtained from the Visible Human.
We hope to combine these images of the pelvic viscera with those of the bones and muscles to show the relationship of the pelvic and urogenital diaphragms to these structures. We can generate transparencies of the individual components of the different systems [Figure 12] to better illustrate relationships as we have done with the prostatic urethra and ejaculatory ducts. Structures nearly impossible to see in cadaveric dissections.
Ultimately we can combine these images to allow interactive
tutorials that illustrate the various approaches to the prostate for prostatic
surgery and allow students to view important structures that are compromised
by the approaches to the prostate.